- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2002

Sunshine or Hillary?
Democratic Party convention-goers will gather in Boston to choose their candidate for president in 2004, while it's up in the air whether New York City or Tampa will play host to Republicans when they nominate President Bush to run for four more years.
That said, Inside the Beltway has obtained a letter that Florida Reps. Mark Foley and Adam H. Putnam will send later this week to former Gov. Marc Racicot, chairman of the Republican National Committee. The letter is being signed by the Florida Republican Delegation, which, with 18 members, is second only to California.
"This is like comparing apples to oranges," Mr. Foley tells Inside the Beltway of the choice between New York and Tampa. "Instead of the president having to crawl into Hillary Clinton's lair, he can bask in the paradise his brother built." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a New York Democrat, and Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, is governor of Florida.
As for their letter, the Florida Republicans unanimously endorse Tampa/St. Petersburg as the site of the 2004 Republican National Convention.
After all, write the lawmakers, it's the "fulcrum of the premier battleground state of the 2000 presidential election. Florida's 27 electoral votes will be the key to a successful re-election bid by President Bush."
One can argue that Florida supported Mr. Bush once again in this month's midterm elections, giving brother Jeb a surprising 56 percent of the vote. A low turnout in the traditional Democratic counties of South Florida, combined with unprecedented Latino support for the Republican Party, resulted in the governor's win in Miami-Dade County.

Timing is everything
It's not difficult to tell who in the Democratic Party is running for president in 2004.
Friday, on the heels of the Environmental Protection Agency easing the nation's clean-air rules, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards issued a statement warning of "more smog, more soot, and more premature deaths."
His statement was released to reporters at 3:19 p.m.
At 3:21 Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry issued a statement warning that the EPA was similarly putting "polluters ahead of public health."
Except Mr. Kerry was more straightforward: "To safeguard the environment, we don't just need a new EPA administrator, we need a new president."

Caffeine and toast
Yes, the House Armed Services Committee over the past two years has overseen the largest increase in national defense spending since the early 1980s. In exact numbers, the defense budget is growing by more than $60 billion annually.
But congressmen also realize that the war on terrorism cannot be effectively fought without two vital staples.
"With all this talk of creating the new Department of Homeland Security and combating terrorism, I wanted to make sure you didn't miss two critically important resolutions that passed the House last week," Paul S. Teller, legislative director of the House Republican Study Committee, writes to Inside the Beltway.
He attached H.R. 466: "Recognizing the significance of bread in American history, culture, and daily diet," as well as H.R. 604: "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should adopt a global strategy to respond to the current coffee crisis."

Still coming
Data not yet released by Uncle Sam and we can see why shows that a record number of legal and illegal immigrants have continued to arrive in the United States through the first part of this year.
An analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of the latest data from the Census Bureau indicates that more than 33 million legal and illegal immigrants live in the United States an increase of 2 million, or a population four times the size of Washington, D.C. since the last official count, in 2000.
And where are all these immigrants moving?
New York City tops the list, according to figures we obtained from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, with more than 81,000 immigrants moving to the city in 1998 alone.
The remaining Top 10 "favorite destinations" for immigrants in 1998: Los Angeles; Chicago; Miami; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Orange County, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Houston; and Boston.
The center will release its findings tomorrow at the National Press Club.

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